The flood of 1912 also had a great impact on the Avoyelles Parish area, however, flooding in Pointe Coupee was much more severe.
The greatest and deadliest natural disaster in Pointe Coupee Parish and regional history occurred on May 1, 1912, when the swollen Mississippi River tore through the weakened levee at Torras, in extreme northeastern Pointe Coupee. Within the next month, 90 percent of Pointe Coupee and much of a dozen parishes to the south was under water as the inundation swept toward the Gulf of Mexico in a path of unprecedented destruction and loss of life. At least 40 men, women and children drowned in Pointe Coupee alone, and the total number of fatalities is likely never to be known. Of Pointe Coupee's 1912 population of nearly 26,000, some 17,000 were made homeless. Of these homeless, 12,000 were evacuated by rail and boat to higher ground at Baton Rouge, Port Hudson and towns west of the Atchafalaya Basin, while 5,000 fended for themselves as refugees in the town of New Roads or huddled atop levees. Of those who evacuated, many never returned, finding employment elsewhere and, a century later, Pointe Coupee's population has yet to return to its pre-flood figure.
Though the 1927 flood, which resulted in the inundation of 75 percent of Pointe Coupee Parish, is the better known, its effects were much less disastrous than that wrought by the 1912 inundation. Likewise, the 1912 flood (one of 18 major floods originating in Pointe Coupee between the years 1780 and 1927) is the most documented, as newspapers across the nation reported the day-to-day advance of the destructive floodwater, the resultant diaspora of the population and loss of life. The 1912 or "Torras" Flood was similarly the most photographed in Pointe Coupee history, with scores of images captured by local residents and rescuers, many of which images were reproduced in postcard format.
Since his childhood, Brian J. Costello of New Roads has had a strong interest in and has devoted years of research into the 1912 flood and its effects which remain evident in the rather limited industrialization and growth of Pointe Coupee Parish. His grandparents, as children, were displaced by the flood (his paternal grandparents in Pointe Coupee and his maternal grandparents in Assumption Parish) and the disaster wrought to his ancestors' agricultural concerns was a chief topic of oral history he learned as a child. His research of the 1912 and other floods to affect Pointe Coupee and neighboring parishes and the supporting images he has amassed through the years have resulted in his publication of the book Devastation Unmeasured: The Tragic History of Floods in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, as well as numerous feature articles.